The Committee for Public Counsel Services yesterday sued State Police for refusing to hand over what the group says are public records on everything from criminal cases against troopers to information on trooper use of software that turns phones into surveillance tools.
In a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday, the Boston-based public defender group says State Police have either refused to turn over information or delayed responding to information requests for as long as two years - rather than within the required 10 days.
The group says State Police ignored some specific requests even after the Secretary of State's office, which oversees public-records requests in Massachusetts, intervened on its side.
Among the records the group is seeking is information on civil lawsuits and criminal cases involving state troopers, copies of contracts with State Police unions and arbitration decisions, information about the State Police of two systems that turn phones into surveillance systems, data about cases in which troopers had to turn over information to defense attorneys that might help their clients, information about the North Worcester County Drug Task Force and the State Police gang unit and information about trooper barrack assignments.
CPCS is seeking an order that would both require State Police to hand over the requested information - or valid reasons why it would be exempt from disclosure - and to agree to stop the alleged delaying tactics in the future.